AFYREN’s environmentally friendly technology reduces the carbon footprint by 81% compared to fossil acids counterparts.
AFTER-BIOCHEM’s partner, SPHERA, a company focused on Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability (EHS&S), among other activities, conducted an environmental assessment of AFYREN’s products. This study aims to analyze the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the seven organic acids produced by AFYREN, including the whole process from biomass supply to the products coming out of the biorefinery.
AFYREN had already evaluated its products using the LCA method a few years ago, which had shown promising and satisfactory results in terms of a lower environmental impact compared to fossil-based counterparts (66% lower carbon footprint than equivalent acids on the market). At that time, the study was also conducted by SPHERA and was based on pre-industrial data.
LCA evaluates the environmental performance of products, goods and/or services using a standardized method (ISO 14040-14044i). Based on a multi-criteria approach, this methodology quantifies the incoming and outgoing “flows” of material and energy, intending to provide the environmental impact generated by–products. This study provides indicators like climate change impact or carbon footprint,
In 2020, a second LCA analysis was conducted to evaluate the carboxylic acids that AFYREN will produce in the future at the Carling biorefinery. The LCA result showed that AFYREN’s carboxylic acids decrease the carbon footprint by 81% compared to fossil-based acids equivalents. Greater energy efficiency was the main reason identified for reducing the environmental impact, followed by reagents used.
During the AFTER-BIOCHEM project, additional sustainability assessments will be conducted to present better the environmental impacts of the flagship biorefinery, including ecosystem quality and biodiversity. Finally, economic feasibility and social impact will be carried out to fulfil the three pillars of the sustainability assessment.